BACKGROUND: Early excision with autograft-allograft closure is standard in severe burn management. Cadaver skin is associated with risks such as antigenicity, infection, and limited availability and shelf life. Previous studies have shown that Integra is safe to use in burns of 50% total body surface area), its effects on postburn hypermetabolism, and the long-term cosmetic and functional results have not yet been evaluated.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Twenty children with an average burn size of 73 +/- 15% total body surface area (71 +/- 15% full-thickness burn) were randomized to be treated with either Integra or with autograft-allograft technique. Outcome measures such as length of hospital stay, mortality, incidence of infection and sepsis, acute phase protein levels, and muscle fractional synthetic rate were compared between and within groups during the acute stay (admission to discharge). Outcome measures such as resting energy expenditure, body composition data (measured by dual-energy radiograph absorptiometry), cardiac function indexes, and number of reconstructive procedures were compared during acute hospital stay and at long-term follow-up (up to 2 yrs postinjury). Scar evaluation was performed at long-term follow-up.
RESULTS: There were no significant differences between Integra and controls in burn size (70 +/- 5% vs. 74 +/- 4% total body surface area), mortality (40% vs. 30%), and length of stay (41 +/- 4 vs. 39 +/- 4 days). In the short term, resting energy expenditure significantly decreased (p < .01), and serum levels of constitutive proteins significantly increased (p < .03) in the Integra group compared with controls. Long-term follow-up revealed a significant increase in bone mineral content and density (24 months postburn, p < .05), as well as improved scarring in terms of height, thickness, vascularity, and pigmentation (12 months and 18-24 months, p < .01) in the Integra group.
CONCLUSION: Integra can be used for immediate wound coverage in children with severe burns without the associated risks of cadaver skin.
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